What Makes a House a Home?
A house is made up of very simple things: Walls, floors, ceilings, doors. A home is more. A home is a reflection of your life. It is comprised of loved ones, artwork, pets, anything that is special to you. When buying a home there are so many factors that you have to take in to account. Will your family be growing in the next few years? Do you want to throw big dinner parties? How many stories can you walk up on a regular basis? When buying a home, many people get lost in the minutiae: Paint colors, carpets, architectural details, even the furniture used to stage the unit. Those things are cosmetic and changeable. Your needs will change, too, but it's always worth shopping to fit your plan.
I was reminded of what makes a house a home very recently. When we purchased our condo, I didn't think much about the extremely small backyard and the four stories between our front door and the front entrance. Then, nine years ago we adopted our dog Reese from the SF SPCA. She brought life and an energy to our home. As our large circle of friends meet Reese for the first time I remember distinctly one person telling me, "you always had a great house, but now it feels like a home." In her youth, the flights of stairs were no match for her unbridled energy. In her later years, struggling with heart failure and on heavy doses of diuretics, suddenly the stairs and lack of easy outdoor space became a huge burden. (Fortunately, we had the foresight to get a fairly small dog.) For a time, we wished we had bought differently, yearning for the ease of a ground-level house with a full yard.
Very recently Reese lost her battle with heart failure. Now the house quieter, less warm, and missing a certain energy. Our needs have changed again, back to what they were, at least temporarily.
When you're shopping for a home, focus on the needs of your life. Will there be little feet or paws in your future? Do you love to garden? Do you like to entertain? What will make your house a happy place? What will make it your home?